Friday, October 31, 2008

A better day.

Or maybe a better perspective. Yesterday was interesting. They decided to take off the siding in the morning since the roof had frost on it and they didn't want to slip. The good news was that the north side of our house (which we expected to be horrible since the siding itself was rotted) was actually in good shape under the siding. Since that was easy, they continued around to the west side of the house. Not so good there.

As my contractor put it, the insulation board was crumbling away. It was disintegrating into nothing. Even the regular wall insulation had turned into dirt. He said there was NO R value to the old stuff and the only logical thing to do was to replace all of it.

Now that may seem like a not so good thing, BUT... the room on the inside of where they found all this was ALWAYS cold in the winter and HOT in the summer. We thought it was the windows. Little did we know there was only minimal protection from the strong Chicago elements. So, the GOOD news is that my craft room will be nice and cozy this winter. They found a problem, but it is FIXED.

Ironically, my sliding glass door half fell out while they were taking off the siding too. You may think that sounds like a bad thing too, but with the help of a friend, I was able to laugh pretty hard about it. :) Go figure. AND, they got the new door in the same day.

We even got an extention to get our permits since we have to get a survey redone.

So, even though we still have some rainclouds following us around, I can see the rainbow. I am grateful for great friends who will pray for a girl who is a bit overwhelmed with things... that, and the promise of an awesome house, is getting me through.

For today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How do YOU turn your luck around?

What do you do when you're in a funk? This house project has given me more grey hairs than my children! The latest joy...the brick arrived! Only problem is it's not the brick I want! Not only that, but we can't get all the permits we need until we get a plat of survey. We should have received one when we bought the house, but we never got a copy. The mortgage company says they don't have it and the title company says the mortgage company should have it. I feel like pigpen, with a cloud of darkness following me around. Now we have to pay for a new survey. I'm getting more and more depressed and pessimistic. Everything that can go wrong, is. HELP!!! I need to see the lighter/happier side of life. Any advice? I do still find joy in my family, so its just the situation. Feel free to send some good karma or simple prayers our way. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A few pics of the project.

Found the camera. It was in the car. Go figure. Anyway, this was the state of the house when our friendly county inspector stopped by.

And this is our house today. A lovely shade of pink, however, I won't be sad to see it go.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thank heaven for a sick hubby

Yes, I did say thank heaven my hubby got sick today. This may be the first and last time this is ever said by anyone anywhere. Today I had a much needed classy mom's lunch date. 2 of my friends and I have started getting together to chat and share a lunch... because that's what classy moms do... they do lunch. :) Anyway, shortly after lunch, we were sitting around talking and my hubby called me. My poor poor hubby wasn't feeling well, so he called to tell me he was heading home. ok. continue chat. 30 minutes later, the phone rang again.

"um, Cheryl, the kids had early release today. They are home. Don't worry about it, I've got them." (begin total internal turmoil and ginormous mother guilt)

Isn't that HORRIBLE! I cannot believe I didn't know they had a half day. No note from the school yesterday (at least not one that made it into my hands)... and no one said a word about the lunches my kids brought to school, and for some reason, it never made it on the calendar. My 2 oldest were home alone for about 30 minutes. I actually didn't lock up the house when I left, so at least they were able to go inside. If it weren't for my hubby's sickness, they probably would have been home alone for about 3 hours or so. I had an afternoon planned full of errands. Though I am grateful he felt sick and decided to come home, I am aware enough to recognize the obvious divine intervention as well.

As for the house project, its still going. We're in limbo on the permits, but moving ahead on the few things that can be done without them. Can I just say the stress is overwhelming!? I can't find my camera right now, but when I do, I'll post a pic of my house. Lets just say it tried pink on for "size", and its not its color.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Horrible, rotten, no good day

UGH!!!!! Ok, I've got it out of my system. So far, not so good on the house project. Last week they tore the deck down and took off all the brick.Apparantly, when you build a deck, its a great place to hide old gutters, bricks and other garbage underneath. Nice eh?

Anyway, over the weekend, our mailbox was randomly smashed to bits. Nice huh. Benson's observation was that it didn't look like a baseball bat had hit it. Or a car for that matter. We were irritated, but went on with life. Until this morning. Our contractor came to the door and asked if we had moved his tools inside. Uh, no. He said he had a couple shovels, a sledge hammer and a few other random tools that he left by the dumpster that were now gone. (lightbulb moment) Yea, someone stole his tools, but that wasn't enough, No, they had to hit our mailbox with the sledge hammer to make it more fun. Thanks whoever you are. We needed that.

On to the rotten part of the day. (yea, as if that wasn't horrible enough) The nice mexican workers were busy taking out the sidewalk in the front of my house, when the doorbell rang.
"Hi, I'm here from the county, do you know you need a permit to be doing this work?"

Uh, no, we're just re-siding and replacing the brick.

"yea, you need a permit for that."

We're taking down brick, and putting up brick, we're not changing the footprint of the house, my contractor told me we wouldn't need a permit.

"He's wrong. I'm going to have to give you a stop work Violation, and I'll have to look around to see if you have any other violations on your property."

The not so polite lady proceeded to walk around my property and apparantly the shed in the backyard never got a permit either, from before we moved in. But that is OUR responsibility. So work stopped with my front sidewalk half torn out and in a dangerous state, the deck in the back is gone, so its all mud and a giant step to try to come in that door. I'm not so happy about all this if you couldn't tell. The contractor went to the county building to try and take care of it, but I haven't heard back from him yet.

As for the no good... Well, I published my updates to my website, only to find out that I had broken paypal links. So you could look at all my gorgeous stuff, but you couldn't have bought it. I spent the afternoon fixing that mistake. The absolute best part of my day was thisand this
What would I do without them. Anyway, sorry for the long rant. You can make me feel a little better by visiting my updated website and telling me how great it is. :)
(if you find any broken links, PLEASE let me know!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Changes in Store update

Go figure... I make the announcement, then have trouble uploading to my server. keep the mental image of my website in your brain, and hopefully by the end of the week, I'll get it up.

As a side note, this is a good time to buy cards from me... I have a wholesaler *very* interested in my cards (hip hip horray!!!), which means I may have to raise my retail prices to keep the wholesaler happy. Its complex but basically a wholesaler doesn't want their customers to be able to get a better deal from me than they can offer (since they double the wholesale price to cover retail expenses). Does that make sense? If not, just know that now is a good time to buy my cards. I have some fall and christmas themed ones that may be just what you are looking for, or shop early for christmas gifts! Click here to go to the store

In the mean time, we have other changes in store . . for our house!!! Here's the before picture. We are changing a LOT. The brick will be a different color, we are adding a small porch and replacing the siding. We kept putting the projects off, and now its sort of gotten to the point of NEEDING it. The siding is beginning to rot, our windows have large enough leaks to let in bugs and the gutters are about to fall down. So, big huge house project, here we come...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Changes in store

I've been working really hard this past week to give my website a stylish makeover. I have the changes almost done on my local computer, but they are not on the web yet. So....

please please please go take a look at my website so that you can oh and ah over the changes when I get them posted. You don't have to stay long, just enough that you can tell me how awesome I am when I get it changed. LOL. :)

Here's the link: Designs in Floral

Monday, October 6, 2008

Postpartum Thyroiditis

So, I've been thinking that I wanted to share a little about this unknown, but not too uncommon disease. It is often mistaken for other common postpartum conditions including depression and just plain ol' motherhood. Here's my experience...

After I had my first child, I was working at Alpha Plasma Center. lol. Good memories. Anyway, I was a phlebotomist which is a fancy way of saying I stuck people with needles. Goose was about 3 1/2 months old when I started noticing that I felt "weird". I started losing weight, I was horribly tired and my hands shook. (not a good symptom when you have a needle in your hand). I figured it was probably nothing and went on with my life, however, the symptoms got worse. The weight kept coming off, I was 15 lbs below where I got pregnant at, and I was never overweight to begin with. My face was gaunt, my eyes were dark, and my hair was falling out by the handful. And I still felt awful. I couldn't sleep, but I wanted to. I was grouchy, depressed and I felt like I was constantly running a marathon. The best analogy I can think of is to imagine when you're pregnant and you *HAVE* to eat all the time... You know how you feel shaky and sort of out of control-grouchy when you hit that wall, of "I have to eat something NOW!". Imagine feeling that way pretty much all the time, and food doesn't make it get better. I finally made the appointment with my doctor one day when I felt really shaky and realized my pulse was 140 (while I sat doing paperwork).

I'm grateful the doctor was up on his postpartum possiblities. He did some blood work and called me later to tell me I had postpartum thyroiditis. I'm not sure how good I am at explaining all this, but I will try. When a woman is pregnant, her immune system is suppressed so that she doesn't fight off her own baby. This is a good thing. However, when the baby is born, the immune system rebounds back into full gear. I have read that up to 10% of women have overactive antibodies that then, for unknown reasons, attack the thyroid. The "injured" thyroid releases its stores of hormone in response to the attack, causing the symptoms I described above. Some women go on to develop hypothyroid symptoms when the body uses up the released thyroid hormone and the thyroid is still inflammed or "injured" and doesn't make more.

After I had Sweetie and Tank , I had a similar but less extreme experience. I lost a little weight, still had extreme fatigue, lost hair and felt icky. I would probably compare those experiences more with what postpartum depression must be like. I've actually read that thyroiditis is often mis-diagnosed as depression and I can sure tell why.

In fact, I had someone tell me about their postpartum experience, her symptoms were actually similar to many of mine. Her doctor diagnosed her over the phone with post-partum depression and wanted to start her on medication. DON'T LET YOUR DOCTOR DO THIS!!!! He could not possibly make a proper diagnosis without doing blood work and a full consultation. Insist on an appointment.

Back to the topic. By my third round of postpartum thyroiditis, my thyroid was damaged beyond repair. After the thyrotoxic phase which I described above, I went on to have hypothyroid symptoms. My endocrinologist started me on Synthroid. What a miracle drug. I felt SOOO much better on the medicine. I stayed on it through my next pregnancy as well.

Well, true to form, after having Twister, my thyroid went bezerk again. I'm guessing that since I was on medication this time, the symptoms were worse. Not as bad as when I had Goose, but definetly worse than when I had the girls. Finding the right dose of medicine has been hard and I still don't think its quite right.

The hardest thing about postpartum thyroiditis is that there is very little that can be done for it. If you are symptomatic like I was the first time around, they give you a beta-blocker to help reduce your heartrate. That's it. Our society's obsession with being thin is hard to handle too. Like I said before, I went 15 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight the first time I went through this. I was seriously sickly thin. And yet, people still made comments like, " I wish I had that disease". "Well, you look great!" "It can't be that bad if it helps you lose weight" . Feeling decent is a heck of a lot more important to me than being thin, and I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Knowledge is power, right? I had never heard of it and still have never met someone else who has gone through this, but , hopefully this post can help someone out there, even if its so they know they are not alone.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Family tree outline - Ancestors

I did that look alike meter for all the kids, but didn't want to post all of them.

Goose looks more like his dad by 3%
Sweetie looks more like her dad by 4%.
Tank looks more like her dad by 3%
Twister looks like both of us 50/50

I thought Twister looked more like me, but apparently its just that he looks a little less like his dad. Go figure.

In followup

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Apparently this is not an exact science. lol!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

New Alias

So, all my kids have great nicknames. Goose, Sweetie and Tank.... Goose actually began as silly goose, but that was way too long. Sweetie could have been sunshine, sweetie or darling, but Sweetie is what stuck. Tank had the nickname stinker for a good long time, but we thought we'd better use something she didn't hate us for. My mom doesn't think Tank is any better, but it sure fits her. Anyway, we've been getting to know our baby for the last many months, looking for his nickname. I think we've found one. We'll see if it sticks with him or not, but for now, the babe will be known as



He has started rolling over. He is actually able to move around quite a bit with all his back and forth rolling. Not necessarily where he wants to go, but moving. We are still debating whether Hurricane is a better fit for him. Since a hurricane was named after him this year and all, but it doesn't roll off the tongue as quickly as twister, unless you say it with a utah accent (hurric-in). Besides twisters and hurricane's are totally related events anyway.

So, the baby is twister.

This notice is subject to change. :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So, I found this hair blog

...and I've had way too much fun with my girls hair! May I first say that I have a good friend, Devri, who has an AMAZING talent for hair, and a hair blog, and 5 girls with amazing hair. I haven't kept up as well as I should (sorry Devri) because my daughers hair is SOO different from her daughter's beautiful thick, long hair. Anyway, when my sister in law sent me the link for I checked it out and got some great ideas and went from there to a link on her blog for short hairstyles: I kept linking through more hair sites, and guess who I saw there. yup Devri. What a funny blogging world. She rocks too, check out her site! I'm now addicted to checking out these hair blogs. So fun, and so cute! Best part, my daughters are old enough to sit still (mostly) and they LOVE to look cute. Alright, I'm sure I'm rambling now. Skip anything else I write and go check out these great hair blogs. :)